Tag Archives: Puerto Cortes

Olaf Weakens to Tropical Storm over Southern Baja California

Former Hurricane Olaf weakened to a tropical storm when it passed over southern Baja California on Friday. At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Olaf was located at latitude 24.5°N and longitude 112.2°W which put it about 20 miles (30 km) south-southeast of Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico. Olaf was moving toward the northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Puerto San Andresito to Loreto. The Tropical Storm Warning included Cabo San Lucas and La Paz.

Former Hurricane Olaf weakened on Friday when the circulation passed over mountains in the southern part of Baja California. The low level center of circulation of Tropical Storm Olaf was visible on satellite images. The low level center was back over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean near Cabo San Lazaro. There were mainly showers and lower clouds near the low level center. Most of the thunderstorms were occurring in bands on the eastern side of Olaf that were over Baja California and the Gulf of California. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation. A weather station in Puerto Cortes, Mexico recently reported a sustained wind speed of 44 m.p.h. (70 km/h) and a wind gust of 53 m.p.h. (85 km/h).

Tropical Storm Olaf will move through an environment unfavorable for intensification during the next several days. Olaf will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 25˚C. The air over the cooler water is drier and more stable. Drier, more stable air will inhibit the develop of thunderstorms. If new thunderstorms do not form near the center of Tropical Storm Olaf during the next 12 hours, it will gradually weaken. Olaf is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression on Saturday.

The future track of Tropical Storm Olaf will depend on how fast Olaf weakens. If no new thunderstorms develop near the center of Olaf, then the tropical storm will be steered by the winds in the lower levels of the atmosphere. A surface high pressure system over the Eastern North Pacific Ocean is forecast to steer Tropical Storm Olaf toward the west-southwest during the weekend. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Olaf will gradually move away from Baja California.